FBI visits W.Va. co. that hauled chemicals
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Federal agents have visited a company that cleaned up and hauled chemicals from the site of a spill that contaminated 300,000 West Virginians' water.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin confirmed that FBI investigators were at Diversified Services LLC in St. Albans on Thursday. Goodwin could not comment on why they were there.
Diversified Services received almost $433,000 from Freedom Industries in January, according to court documents. The company had worked for Freedom Industries well before the incident, however.
The spill spurred a water-use ban for days.
Freedom is also nearing a March 15 deadline to start tearing down its tanks at the Charleston site of the spill, per state orders.
Some witnesses, including state environmental inspectors, have already appeared in front of a federal grand jury for the Freedom investigation.
US 35 UPGRADE
Rep. Capito wants US 35 upgrade finished in W.Va.
WINFIELD, W.Va. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito wants to see a long-debated widening project finished on U.S. Route 35 in Mason and Putnam counties.
The West Virginia Republican took a tour Friday of a 14.6-mile section of the highway that remains two lanes. The four-lane highway starts at Interstate 64 in Putnam County and is a major truck and bus route connecting to southern Ohio and other points in the Midwest.
The state Division of Highways began seeking alternative funding for the $187 million project last year following backlash against plans for tolls on the road.
Capito says federal surface transportation program funding expires in September and "now's the time to be talking about it."
Capito and West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall are members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
DEATH INVESTIGATION-MISSING GIRL
Police get warrant for missing Md. girl's dad
DUNDALK, Md. (AP) - Baltimore County Police have a warrant charging the father of a missing girl in the death of the girl's mother.
Police announced Friday that they have obtained a warrant charging Timothy Virts, the girl's father, with first-degree murder after discovering 36-year-old Bobbie Jo Cortez's body at her Dundalk home a day earlier. Their daughter, 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts, was missing along with her father.
Police said Cortez had multiple cuts to her upper body. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost says Caitlyn's twin sister and Cortez's young son, as well as two adults, were living at the home. She says Timothy Virts had also been staying there for the past several weeks.
Armacost said at a news conference Friday that the FBI is assisting local police.
XGR-SEX ASSAULT NURSE NETWORK
Changes to rape evidence collection bill rejected
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia House of Delegates has rejected changes the Senate made to a bill to regulate and improve the training of nurses who collect forensic evidence in sexual assault cases.
The bill will now go to conference or will be dropped completely.
The original bill creates a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission to regulate these specially trained registered nurses at the local and state levels. On Thursday, the House decided Senate changes move power away from local examination boards, a critical part of the measure.
The bill aims to address inadequacies in the collection of evidence in sexual assault cases.
The bill's sponsor, Del. Barbara Fleischauer, has said the State Forensics Lab estimates up to 75 percent of rape kits have collection or documentation errors.
ELIZABETH DOLE FOUNDATION FELLOW
W.Va. woman recognized for military caregiver work
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia woman is being recognized for her work as a military and veteran caregiver.
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation says Sandra Ownbey of Hedgesville has been named as a fellow.
The program taps spouses, parents, and other loved ones actively caring for wounded warriors to provide military and veteran caregivers a national voice.
Fellows help raising awareness in their home states and communities and serve as advisers to the foundation.
Ownbey cares for her husband Jim who was injured during his third deployment to Iraq when his vehicle hit a massive improvised explosive device and was thrown 30 feet in the air.
A foundations-commissioned study says more than one million individuals are estimated to be providing voluntary care to the wounded service members and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
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